Chicago is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper and home to many eye-popping towers and structures designed by star architects. From the earliest starchitects to today's hometown heavyweights like Jeanne Gang, Adrian Smith and Helmut Jahn, it is safe to say that Chicago has produced some of the world's most important figures in the history of architecture. Although Chicago isn't building at the pace of New York City, our fair city certainly sports some structures that can hold their own against any in the world. For our list, we stuck with buildings completed in the last ten years, and developments that are currently under construction or in advanced planning stages. So without further ado (and in no particular order), Curbed presents 15 pieces of Chicago's most eye-popping pieces of starchitecture.Read More
Mapping 15 Pieces of Eye-Popping Chicago Starchitecture
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
The Modern Wing
When the Art Institute of Chicago announced that it would expand and build The Modern Wing, art fans across the world jumped for joy. Designed by Renzo Piano, the building is only five years old but has had issues that have caused the temporary closure of some galleries.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
One of Chicago's most famous pieces of starchitecture, the Pritzker Pavilion at Grant Park was designed by Frank Gehry and opened ten years ago. The city famously classified the structure as a work of art instead of a building to avoid legal issues regarding height limitations in Grant Park.
Completed in 2010, the list of awards Jeanne Gang's Aqua has won stands as tall as the 89 story tower and helped secure Gang's place as a world-class superstar architect.
WMS Boathouse at Clark Park
Another design from Studio Gang, the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park is a recent completion and a much welcomed addition to the list of starchitecture projects in Chicago.
The Poetry Foundation
Designed by John Ronan and located in River North, the Poetry Foundation received a prestigious Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects when it was completed in 2011.
Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
Located in the University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus, this Helmut Jahn designed ultra-contemporary library sits just below ground level and is covered by a large dome.
A new entry to the Chicago architectural landscape, the Valerio Dewalt Train designed Godfrey Hotel brings something new to the table with its cubist design aesthetic.
theWit may be known more for its late night scene than its eye-popping contemporary design. Chicago's own Jackie Koo & Associates is responsible for putting this tower on the map.
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The Theatre School at DePaul University
DePaul University tapped starchitect César Pelli of Pelli Clark Pelli to come up with a design for its new theater school. The 165,000 square foot facility at the university's Lincoln Park campus opened last autumn.
Perhaps the most ambitious starchitecture project currently underway in Chicago, the three tower Wolf Point development will include a 900' and 700' highrise from Pelli Clarke Pelli and a shorter 500' tower from bKL Architecture. Construction of the 50 story west tower is currently underway.
GEMS World Academy Chicago
Part of the elite GEMS World Academy schools, the bKL Architecture designed outpost in Lakeshore East is another recent addition to the city's architectural landscape.
DePaul Arena at McCormick Place
Though the redevelopment plans for McCormick Place have been shuffled around a bit, the Pelli Clarke Pelli designed crown jewel of the entertainment district will become the new home to DePaul University's basketball team.
Last but certainly not least, the Santiago Calatrava designed Chicago Spire was long stalled out but has been recently rejuvenated. If completed as planned, the tower will become the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.